Simon Mraz

Co-founder State of the Art(ist), a project by Ars Electronica and Austrian Foreign Ministry

Simon Mraz (b.1977) is an art historian, curator and co-founder State of the Art(ist), a project by Ars Electronica and Austrian Foreign Ministry. Mraz studied history of art at Sorbonne, Paris 1 and the University of Vienna. Upon graduation, he joined the Austrian Auction House Dorotheum where he worked in different departments, helped to start and run the auction house’s new branch in Milan and assisted the chief expert on Old Master Paintings.

He is currently working with the Culture Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry to develop new formats of international culture projects, with a focus on the cultural space east of the European Union. He is co-founder of the main Austrian program to support Ukrainian Artists having fled to Austria with three offices in Vienna, Graz and Insbruck (and comprising a fund of 500,000 Euro dedicated to Ukrainian-Austrian art projects) run by the Culture Ministry of Austria, co-founder of State of the Art(ist), virtual Kunsthalle and the Award for Artists at Risk (a cooperation of Ars Electronica Festival and the Austrian Foreign Ministry) and initiator and manager of the Open Call project ‘On The Road Again’ which invites Austrian Artists for grants and art productions at Austrian Cultural Forums around the world. Aside from those projects, Mraz is part of the new curatorial team of MuseumsQuartier Vienna and runs cultural projects in cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Ministry.

From 2009 to 2020, he was the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow and since then has been curating various Austrian-Russian and European-Russian cultural projects. Mraz has organized a series of art projects exploring the Russian regions together with European and Russian artists. These projects are some of the most successful independent cultural projects produced in Russia before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. He maintains care and concern for independent, ciritical artists from Russia.

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